State Govt seeks changes in draft education policy

Conrad, Rymbui call for status quo on language issue

SHILLONG: Chief Minister Conrad Sangma and Education Minister Lahkmen Rymbui expressed their reservation about the draft national education policy when they met Union Minister for Human Resource Development Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank in New Delhi on Wednesday.
The state government has also insisted on status quo regarding language policy.
Commenting on the draft national education policy, Rymbui apprised the union minister that restructuring the entire educational facilities in the state would be a difficult exercise and would put a lot of financial burden as 50 per cent of the schools are run by minority organisations.
Rymbui also urged the Centre that minority institutions should be allowed to manage the school managing committees through their sponsoring bodies so as not to dilute their sacrifice and initiatives taken especially in the elementary section.
He also said that restructuring school curriculum and pedagogy in a new 5+3+3+4 design will entail additional manpower and specific subject teachers will have to be appointed for teaching from grade 9 to 12.
Expressing concern over the financial burden for introduction of classical language and foreign languages in schools, Rymbui pointed that unless a special scheme is rolled out for recruitment of language teachers, offering such language at schools, colleges and universities would be a difficult exercise.
The state government reiterated the need to maintain status quo regarding language policy.
Issues of standalone teacher institutions like B.Ed. and DIET were also discussed as it is very difficult for the college or DIET to integrate with other institutions.
The HRD minister said the matter will be discussed.
Marksheets not available
Rymbui also raised the issue of D.El.Ed programme conducted by National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) as the trainees from 2013-15, 14-16 and 16-18 are yet to get their marksheets and original certificates even after completion of their courses.
He also informed that the successful candidates are yet to receive the original certificates and marksheets for examinations conducted by NIOS in May 2019.
Pokhriyal assured the chief minister and the education minister that these issues will be taken up and necessary interventions will be made.
SSA funds
On Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rymbui pointed out that Ministry of HRD had committed to release central share of Rs. 253.49 crore against Rs 23.36 crore sanctioned in 2018-19.
However, the actual release was Rs 237.846 crore with a shortfall of Rs 15.644 crore.
He also apprised the Union minister that for 2019-20 there was a shortfall of Rs 145.147 crore for implementation of SSA, while the Centre had committed to release Rs 348.653 crore instead of approved allocation of Rs 523.53 crore.
He said due to shortfall of funds released by the ministry, the state has been facing difficulties for implementation of SSA. The chief minister and education minister have urged Centre to look into the matter.
Model schools
On implementation of nine model schools in Meghalaya, Rymbui said funds for the centrally sponsored schools amounting to Rs 15,03,00,00 (50 per cent of the central share) were released in 2011, but the project was discontinued in 2015 and the financial burden was given to the state.
Rymbui urged the Centre to reconsider the model school scheme for Meghalaya and ensure completion of the schools, which were initiated in the state.
The union minister has instructed the department to examine the matter.
Restricted reservation
Rymbui also expressed the problems of local aspiring students due to restricted reservation policy in institutes like North Eastern Regional Institute of Education (NERIE), English and Foreign Language University (EFLU), IIM Shillong, NEIGRIHMS and others.
He pointed out that NERIE has only three seats reserved for Meghalaya out of 50 seats in the B.Ed. course. He urged the Centre to increase the seats for Meghalaya in NERIE and to reserve quota for the state in EFLU Shillong Campus.
Pokhriyal assured the chief minister and education minister that the issues will be looked into.

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